Remembering the Fall of Saigon and Vietnam’s Mass ‘Boat People’ Exodus
Carina Hoang » Media » Remembering the Fall of Saigon and Vietnam’s Mass ‘Boat People’ Exodus

On April 30, 1975, American troops withdrew from Saigon as the city fell to the North Vietnamese. One refugee remembers the chaos of the day and her long odyssey to freedom.
In the waning days of April 1975, Carina Hoang and her family hunkered down inside a cramped bomb shelter and listened to the rockets scorching the skies above Bien Hoa. From time to time the children dashed outside, to go to the bathroom or grab a morsel of food, and then retreated to the bunker. North Vietnamese troops had already advanced within three miles of Saigon, just half an hour’s drive away, and the U.S. military had launched a frantic evacuation of the capital. “When things started to quiet down, my mom put all of us in the car and started to drive to Saigon,” says Carina. “At that point, we had lost touch with our father”—a lieutenant colonel in the South Vietnamese military—“we didn’t know what had happened to him and we couldn’t wait for him. So we went to Saigon and stayed at my mom’s friend’s house and started to look for ways to leave the country.”

Source: The Daily Beast



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